Apr 21, 2024
3 mins read
3 mins read

Israel’s Leaders Criticize Expected US Sanctions Against Military Unit

Israel’s Leaders Criticize Expected US Sanctions Against Military Unit

JERUSALEM (NEWSnet/AP) — Israel’s leaders on Sunday criticized an expected decision by the U.S. to impose sanctions on a unit of ultra-Orthodox soldiers in the Israeli military.

The decision, expected as soon as Monday, would mark the first time the U.S. has imposed sanctions on a unit inside Israel’s military.

U.S. officials declined to identify the sanctioned unit, but officials and media in Israel identified it as Netzah Yehuda, an infantry battalion designed to incorporate ultra-Orthodox men into the military.

Israel’s leaders condemned the decision, especially at a time when Israel is at war, and vows to oppose it.

“If anyone thinks they can impose sanctions on a unit in the IDF, I will fight it with all my might,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said.

National security minister Itamar Ben-Gvir said the U.S. crossed a “red line.” Tally Gotliv, a member of Netanyahu’s Likud party, accused the U.S. of antisemitism.

Netzah Yehuda has been based in the occupied West Bank and some of its members have been linked to abuse against Palestinians. It comprises only a small part of Israel’s military presence.

The army said the battalion is "professionally and bravely conducting operations in accordance to the IDF Code of Ethics and with full commitment to international law."

On Friday, U.S. Secretary of State Atony Blinken said he had made a decision on reviews of allegations that several Israel military units violated conditions for receiving U.S. assistance outlined in Leahy Law, and will be announced soon.

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